Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

MBDA UK Ltd: Electronic Sub-System Design Verification engineer

Flexible working, annual bonus, pension & more.: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the oppor...

MBDA UK Ltd: Test Systems Architect

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? MBDA has e...

MBDA UK Ltd: Test Systems Design Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity?MBDA has en...

MBDA UK Ltd: PCB Technologies Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity?MBDA has en...

The Business Matrix: Monday 17 October 2011

BSkyB

BSkyB will be hoping a strong set of first-quarter results on Wednesday will draw attention away from the controversy surrounding the satellite broadcaster’s chairman, James Murdoch, who is also deputy COO at News Corp. Numis expects profits to be up 14 per cent to about £290m, but net customer additions to have more than halved compared with last year, amid the consumers spending squeeze.

Debenhams

Debenhams should show profit growth on Thursday after a summer of discounts and promotions helped boost its market share. The group, which has 169 department stores in the UK, Ireland and Denmark, managed to turn around falling revenues over the summer after it brought its sale forward by five days. The group last month forecast higher-than-expected profits – a rare move in the retail sector.

Whitbread

The leisure giant Whitbread is expected to unveil strong, half-yearly profits of between £151m and £163m on Tuesday, driven by the performance of its Costa coffee chain. Costa’s aggressive expansion has seen 145 new stores open in the first half and another 155 planned for the rest of the financial year. Elsewhere, Whitbread’s chain of budget hotels, Premier Inn, is set to post 5 per cent underlying growth.

Home Retail Group

Argos, the 750-store catalogue chain, is expected to have made just £1m in six months after sales tumbled nearly 8 per cent. Its owner, Home Retail Group, is forecast to report a huge 70 per cent plunge in half-yearly profits to £30m on Wednesday. Sales at its garden and homewares chain, Homebase, are also under pressure as cash-strapped customers shy away from purchases such as fitted kitchens.

Dividends jump to more than £20bn

The level of UK dividends rose above £20bn between July and September, according to new figures from Capita Registrars. Third-quarter payouts were up nearly 16 per cent in year-on-year terms. At more than £20.9bn, the level of payouts by companies in the three-month period was the highest since the second quarter of 2008.

Krispy Kreme gets PE investment

The private equity firm Alcuin Capital Partners has backed a management buyout at the doughnut retailer Krispy Kreme UK. The deal, which is valued at £25m, will support the company’s plans to take the number of its UK sites to 80 by 2015. The retailer, which entered the UK market in 2003, currently has 45 stores across the country.

Growing divide in house prices

Average property prices in the south of the UK are more than twice as much as those in the north, according to figures from the property website Rightmove. Average prices in the north stand at £164,347, against £336,743. That compares with a national average of £239,672 this month, up from £233,139 last month.

Real incomes fall as basic costs rise

Rising costs and falling incomes continued to put a squeeze on consumers last month, according to Lloyds TSB. The bank said incomes in real terms were 1 per cent lower in September than a year ago, while spending on essential items had risen by 3.5 per cent. The highest growth was in gas and electricity spending.

High taxes hit air passenger levels

More than half of the airlines operating in the UK expect fewer people to fly next year because of higher taxes, according to new figures. Researchers at the lobby group A Fair Tax on Flying Alliance found that 55 per cent of airlines expected passenger numbers to reduce next year, by an average of 5 per cent.

Level of business jet flights rises

The number of daily business aircraft flights in the UK rose by 7 per cent between January and June, according to research from the business jet manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft. There were 390 more daily business flights in the UK over the period, accounting for more than 22 per cent of the total for the EU.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor